Hendron says anti-racism meeting an important step

East Belfast Alliance Councillor Máire Hendron has said a meeting between concerned parties to discuss how to tackle racism in Belfast is “an important step” in stopping the recent growth in hate crimes across the local area.

Councillor Hendron was speaking following the meeting at Belfast City Hall today (Tuesday) between political representatives, community groups and police, which was convened in the wake of an increasing number of incidents, most of which have centred on East Belfast.

Councillor Hendron, who is Chair of Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Partnership, said the large turnout at the event was proof the majority of people in Belfast opposed the attacks.

“This meeting was a vital move to put together a collective voice and see how we can tackle this problem in a proactive way. We heard of the desire to take a practical, long-term approach that brings in education and awareness in order to change attitudes.

“While these attacks have made every right-thinking person angry and sad, it was heartening to hear today about the support given to victims by the vast majority of the community and the organisations in place to help.

“There were a range of diverse views aired but they all spoke in a united voice in saying that when one of these attacks takes place, it is an attack on all of us. This combined effort is the only way to tackle the fascism fostering them.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to protect our communities and not let the reputation of Belfast to be sullied further.”


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